The bad news is that you cannot just put some stuff up on the internet and magically expect to find investors. It just doesn’t work. People do not invest $50,000, $100,000, $250,000, or a million dollars because they saw a post on the internet.
You’re also going to have a hard time getting your offering into places like Crowdstreet or Realty Mogul. So if that’s your marketing plan, talk to them first. They’re looking for projects from big developers with a proven track record with many, many millions of dollars in deals. Unless you’ve got that solid track record, you’re in the wrong place.
The good news is that finding investors doesn’t need to be that challenging. In fact, you are doing many of the things to find investors already. All you need is to systematize those and then follow the process, which is actually quite simple. There’s only a few things that you need to do. And you probably know what those things are already, and are doing a lot of them.
So in order to get started, we have to come into this with a couple of ideas. The first big idea that’s different from what you may hear out there is how you approach this, how you look at the world and how you look at the people that you talk to. There are two kinds of people in this world: fishermen and whales.
Fishermen vs. Whales
A fisherman is somebody who has many contacts and can bring you investors. They can make introductions, because they have a large reach. I’ve been very successful with several wealth managers who have brought me clients. The thing to know is that you cannot pay people for referrals of your investors. That is a securities violation, and the only way you can do it is if they happen to be a broker dealer, and then they’ll talk to you about how to do it legally. But those wealth managers are a great source of clients.
Now, why have I been successful at getting people to invest a lot of money from a wealth manager referral? Well, the wealth manager wants a few things – they want to have an excellent reputation with their clients, and they want to be seen as the experts in the house. CPAs and lawyers can also be terrific, as well as anybody dealing with small business.
What is a whale? This is somebody who’s got a lot of cash to invest. The biggest thing that they have in common is they’ve got a really large cash flow. And they don’t know exactly what to do with it all. They are very, very busy. And so they don’t have time to be shopping around for real estate. They’re interested in real estate, and they want to be seen as a real estate investor, but they just don’t have time. These are people like your doctors, or your small business owners, or even medium sized business owners, your attorneys, etc. They could also be somebody who had a very large liquidity event, having just sold something very big, like their business, and now they’ve got this big pot of cash that they want to allocate smartly.
You’re looking for both fishermen and whales.Categorize them in your mind, but don’t narrow somebody down who you think absolutely isn’t a whale and isn’t going to be likely to be your investor. You might be surprised.
One-to-Many to One-to-One
The next important piece of the puzzle is the idea of going from one to many and then filtering down until it’s one to one. As you are having massive conversations with these people you don’t know yet, you’re doing online marketing and social media marketing, etc. This is important in order to bring investors. It starts the conversation. So when people look you up on the internet, they look at you on LinkedIn or Facebook and see you’ve got a ton of content that makes you look like you are actively doing what you’re doing.
So we do put things online, we use social media for the branding, we use webinars for the conversation, but online is not the most optimal way to get investors. It’s simply a tool to build your legitimacy. The goal is to then move these potential investors down the funnel into having this one-to-one conversation. So we’ve got podcasts, which support you and set you up to look like an expert. In terms of offline, we’re talking about trade shows, direct mail, cold calling offline events.
Because you probably are doing direct mail or cold calling or door knocking, you’re already establishing yourself as part of the real estate profession. Now it’s time to take where you’re at right now in the real estate profession and elevate yourself up to the next level, which is not only a professional, but also an investor and somebody sophisticated with your own firm. Once we get down to this one-to-one conversation, that’s when we start really trying to do a few different things. What we’re trying to do for our referrals is we’re trying to build them so we make it clear that we’ve got something of value to offer them.
For wealth managers, that’s showing your product is something of value. Another idea is you take those wealth managers and then you give them an opportunity to present to your clients and then in exchange, they get an opportunity to present to your client, you get an opportunity to present to theirs. Everybody gets to talk to everybody and you both raise your game because you’re marketing to each other, and you’re not competing.
If you’ve been in the real estate game for a while, you know about the sphere of influence. It starts with your inner circle, the people that you know very, very well, that you meet with all the time. Then you’ve got your previous clients or current clients. And then you’ve got the people that you’ve met with. And then you’ve got the whales, the targets, that you haven’t met. And finally, you’ve got the public (everybody else.)
So the people that are in the public and the targets that you haven’t met with, this is where you have your advertising and general marketing. This is your one-to-many conversation. This is your direct mail. So you line up your systems of communicating to the one-to-many to the public and to the targets you haven’t met. Now once you’ve met them, your goal is to move people down as much as possible. You want them to come basically into your inner circle, people who trust you so much that you’ve got them that they want to invest with you and you’re gonna do a great job for.
With the people you’ve met with, maybe you start with a few emails and a couple of cold calls in order to remind them and stoke the fire. Ultimately, your previous clients are ones you want to sit down with, have lunch with, have coffee with, to really get them closer to your inner circle. With your inner circle, you’re meeting with them all the time anyway, so they’re already part of your team. But your previous clients, you’re probably calling them already… but are you talking to them about investing in syndications? Probably not.
Come up with a system and categorize all these people, making a large list of everybody that’s out there. Include everybody you’ve met with, previous clients, and also targets that you haven’t met yet with, but that you really would like to. Make that dream 100 list of people that you think you can find and bring in. Come up with a plan for how you’re going to communicate to all of these levels.
The goal is to always try and move people down from the one-to-many to the one-to-one conversations.
You Are Here: Finding Investors for Your Real Estate Syndication